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CDA is offering the following guidance on patient communication and emergency treatment protocols to help dentists protect their patients, staff and practice.
During temporary restrictions to suspend routine care in efforts prevent the spread of COVID-19, dentists must remain available to patients of record who require emergency care. Failure to treat patients or to refer them for treatment can create legal liabilities, including charges of negligence or patient abandonment.
Maintain clear communication with patients
Screen patients for COVID-19 to determine if they should be seen for emergency care
Minimum PPE requirements to treat emergency patients
Dentists who do not have the minimum required PPE to treat the emergency dental patient should request it from a colleague or local Medical and Health Operational Area Coordinator.
Ensure staff availability for emergency treatments
If you do not have enough staff to perform treatment, refer emergency patients to another dentist with adequate PPE and personnel.
Should a patient of record claim their dentist was negligent, caused pain and suffering or abandoned the patient and if the patient reports it to the Dental Board of California, the board is obligated to investigate the claim.
Find more information in the dental practice interruptions FAQ and more at CDA’s COVID-19 information center.